Ohio State's Late-Round Draft Picks Have Significant Chance to Make an Impact Early

By David Wertheim on April 30, 2019 at 10:10 am
Mike Weber

Sometimes it's not when you go, but where you go. I'm sure that Kendall Sheffield, Michael Jordan, Isaiah Prince, and Mike Weber did not go as high as they wanted to, but all four landed in ideal spots to begin their professional careers.

Let's start with Jordan. The Bengals have had an atrocious offensive line since letting Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitler walk a couple of years ago. After a million failed attempts to fix it, they are trying again, as they selected Alabama tackle Jonah Williams in the first round and the versatile Jordan in the fourth.

This is a great spot for Jordan. The Bengals offensive line is not particularly deep, and the right guard position is currently being handled by John Miller, a free agent signee who was not exactly spectacular last year.

Jordan will also get a chance to reunite with his college teammate Billy Price, who is expected to be the starting center this year. Jordan will learn under new head coach Zac Taylor and offensive line coach Jim Turner, who has plenty of experience coaching the position.

All in all, this is a great spot for Jordan, who will have a chance to earn early playing time, and learn from a former teammate and an experienced position coach.

Oh, and Jordan is a lifelong Bengals fan, which is pretty cool.

Sheffield, the first of the four Buckeyes selected on Day 3 of the draft, will be headed back down south to play for the Atlanta Falcons

Sheffield, of course, is a freak athlete but was unable to do most drills at the NFL Combine or Ohio State's pro day due to an injury suffered at the combine doing the bench press.

The Falcons are not especially deep at the cornerback position, led by the youngster Isaiah Oliver, who struggled a bit as a rookie last year, alongside the established Desmond Trufant. Sheffield will have a good chance to make an early impact, especially on special teams, where his speed and athleticism will do wonders in getting him on the field early. 

The Falcons defensive backs coach is Doug Mallory, who is entering his fifth season with the franchise. Mallory is a Bowling Green native who played at Michigan and has a lot of experience coaching the position, doing so in college for about 15 years before heading to the NFL. 

Prince was the second-to-last Buckeye drafted, as he went in the sixth round to the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins struggled a bit on offense last year, and will enter the season with a new head coach in Patriots disciple Brian Flores. 

Miami has a decent offensive line anchored by stud left tackle Laremy Tunsil, but Prince is expected to come in and be an immediate contributor in the two-deep at right tackle. Prince was one of two offensive linemen drafted by the club in 2019, joining Wisconsin's Michael Dieter, who will begin his career at guard.

Prince's position coach will be Pat Flaherty, a veteran who has coached in the NFL for 20 years, and who has been an NFL offensive line coach since 2004. 

Finally, we get to Weber.

Weber is in a great spot, despite falling to the seventh round. He was picked by the Dallas Cowboys, who are looking for a new backup running back after letting former Buckeye Rod Smith go in the offseason. Dallas drafted both Weber and Tony Pollard (fourth round, Memphis) but both are expected to make the squad.

Weber is reunited with his college teammate Ezekiel Elliott, who has blossomed into one of the best backs in the league. A perennial Pro Bowler, Elliott's skills will be valuable for Weber to learn behind once again. He's certainly confident in himself.

It is pretty simple: Ohio State's draft picks ended up in great spots, and all could be valuable contributors early in their careers.

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